San Francisco Sights

Grace Cathedral

  • 1100 California St. Map It
  • Nob Hill
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 05/24/2016

Fodor's Review

Not many churches can boast an altarpiece by Keith Haring and not one, but two labyrinths. The seat of the Episcopal Church in San Francisco, this soaring Gothic-style structure, erected on the site of the 19th-century railroad baron Charles Crocker's mansion, took 53 years to build, wrapping up in 1964. The gilded bronze doors at the east entrance were taken from casts of Lorenzo Ghiberti's incredible Gates of Paradise, which are on the Baptistery in Florence, Italy. A black-and-bronze stone sculpture of St. Francis by Beniamino Bufano greets you as you enter.

The 35-foot-wide limestone labyrinth is a replica of the 13th-century stone maze on the floor of Chartres Cathedral. All are encouraged to walk the ¼-mile-long labyrinth, a ritual based on the tradition of meditative walking. There's also a terrazzo outdoor labyrinth on the church's north side. The AIDS Interfaith Chapel, to the right as you enter Grace, contains a metal triptych by the late artist Keith Haring and panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Especially dramatic times to view the cathedral are during Thursday-night evensong (5:15 pm) and during special holiday programs.

Sight Information

Address:

1100 California St., at Taylor St., San Francisco, California, 94108, United States

Map It

Phone:

415-749–6300

Sight Details:

  • Free; tours $25
  • Weekdays 7–6, Sat. 8–6, Sun. 8–7; tour times vary

Published 05/24/2016

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